The exhibits at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) are housed in an enormous, loud room with vendors eagerly trying to grab your attention and pitch their products. They range from large publishing houses to new software companies and Web site purveyors to providers of full curricula for K-12 schools.
Every semester, I reformat my classroom computers to get old junk off and update the applications. A couple semesters ago, I decided to leave iChat (Apple's instant messaging application) active, although I did not put the icon on the desktop, nor did I tell the kids.
When I started my doctoral program, I knew I would have to be away from class for several weeks during the school year. I have never really liked the results I get with substitute teachers, even though I have been one and understand their problems all too well. I needed to do things differently.
You're going to think this is outrageous thinking from someone affiliated with The George Lucas Educational Foundation: I believe too many people are thinking about technology first and learning second.
More than twenty states now have statewide online-education initiatives, primarily virtual high school courses. As more states see online classes as a way to provide access to curriculum, it's even more critical that we look closely at the quality of the various offerings.